Deputy Secretary William J. Burns today said the United States actively supports the strengthening of democratic institutions in Kosovo.
On his visit to Pristina in Kosovo, Mr. Burns said it is deeply in the self-interest of all who live in Kosovo whether a Serb or Kosovar as they build a better and more promising future in Europe.
“We believe it is extremely important for any democracy and any society to focus on the importance of rule of law. If you look around the world, it is hard to find any example of a society that is successful in combating a problem like corruption unless you have an independent and objective media and an independent judiciary to hold people to account.” -Mr. Burns
During his visit to Pristina, Kosovo’s capital, Mr. Burns also had a fruitful meetings with with Prime Minister Thaci, President Jahjaga, KFOR, EULEX, and the EU’s new representative to Kosovo.
He notes that he has been impressed by the progress that has been made in building a Kosovo that is inclusive and respects the rights of all its citizens.
“Like the United States, Kosovo benefits from a diverse and rich cultural heritage, and like the United States, it must work every day to preserve it.” -Mr. Burns
He stresses that the United States’ strong and enduring friendship with Kosovo is well-known.
The United States remains committed to Kosovo’s independence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty.
Both countries share the same vision to see Kosovo take its rightful place in Euro-Atlantic institutions, including NATO and the European Union.
He cites that the U.S. government will continue to work with Kosovo leaders and institutions on meeting their obligations in order to end supervised independence and advance Kosovo’s European perspective.
“The United States is also strongly committed to supporting Kosovo in its work in the EU-facilitated dialogue with Serbia. While the people of Kosovo will obviously judge for themselves what is in their own national interest, the benefits of making progress through this effort are clear.” -Mr. Burns
He stresses that the United States and its European partners are asking both sides to be flexible and creative to ensure that both Serbia and Kosovo are able to participate in regional fora. He adds both sides must find a formula with which they can be comfortable.
He states that Kosovo can win the right to represent itself in regional organizations and to lay the foundation for closer relations with Europe. He says winning that right, winning the chance to participate as an equal and to represent yourselves, is a major gain for Kosovo. He cites it’s real progress on the road on which Kosovo and the United States have worked so hard together.
“As Kosovo continues to build on the achievements of recent years, as you chart a path to a more prosperous and peaceful European future, you can count on America’s enduring friendship and support.” -Mr. Burns
On November 2011, Assistant Secretary Philip H. Gordon for Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs has urged the European Union and all countries to recognize Kosovo.
The United States recognizes Kosovo’s commitment to being a democracy, a multi-ethnic state, that it wants to join the European Union.
Republic of Kosovo declared independence on 17th of February 2008. A number of states such as the United States, Turkey, Albania, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Australia, Poland and others) announced Kosovo’s recognition as an independent state.
At present, 76 UN states recognize the independence of Kosovo.